Accessible Playground

Sarah Grossman during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the accessible playground

Sarah Grossman (far left) during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the accessible playground.

When physical therapist Sarah Grossman ’81 (CAHNR) started the school year in the Chimacum, Washington, school district six years ago, she discovered she had three preschool children on her caseload who couldn’t walk. The school’s playground wasn’t accessible for wheelchairs and walkers and there was no money in the school budget to address this. So she sprang into action.

Enlisting the help of colleagues, friends, and parents, Grossman applied for grants and organized fundraisers to raise $1.4 million to build a community-wide, accessible playground, called JUMP! (Jefferson Universal Movement Playground). Now, students can safely play on a playground with a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round; an accessible net climber, swings, and slides; and even a “Serenity Spot” sensory time-out cubby for children on the autism spectrum. She is now fundraising for phase two to complete the playground as designed.

Recently honored with a Public Health Hero Award for her work as board president of JUMP!, Grossman also sits on the county’s Accessible Community Advisory Committee, where she works to provide grants to make area towns more accessible for everyone.

She says she is thankful for her UConn professors, who helped steer her in the right direction. “I still remember professors Ronnie Leavitt and Pam Roberts inspiring me to pursue pediatrics after thinking I wanted to focus on sports medicine,” she says.

She lives in Port Townsend, Washington, with her partner and their dog. “We enjoy camping, hiking, and exploring the natural areas in the Pacific Northwest and the Southwest,” she says.

By Grace Merritt

Sarah Grossman proudly shows her Public Health Hero Award


No comments so far.

Leave a Reply